So yesterday I shed (metaphorical) blood, (real) sweat, and (copious) tears as I finished my very first half marathon.
13.1 miles later, I am still alive, really sore, and really proud.
At 6:15am, I headed to Austin’s Capitol building to meet up with my teammates from Team Asha and took some touristy pictures. Here’s my #1 cheerleader from the course… Rahul!
He came to town to visit, cheer for me, and to make me look even paler than I already am.
He took off at 6:45am to start on some mimosas with my other cheerleaders and I nervously made my way to the start line, pairing myself with some people from the Austin Fit pace group I’ve been doing long runs with. The race started at 7am and since 15,000 crazy people had to cross the start with me, it took me until about 7:15am to even run.
The first few miles were great, I was feeling strong and even saw Rahul and my friends Mary and Cliff cheering for me around mile 2.5. It was a huge boost as I saw the steady 3 mile climb up South Congress from there! The turn around to the 3 mile downhill was wonderful, as I saw another few teammates, smelled bacon from a local restaurant, and saw how I was rocking my pace nearly 30 seconds under my usual. I was cautious not to go out too hard, but I was doing okay except some nerves affecting my stomach.
I saw my cheerleading squad around mile 7 for the last time and took off the rest of the way on my own. I had only run up to 10 miles prior to the race, since I missed the 12 mile run with my group. I got to mile 10 and hit a wall, realizing I had never taken in more fuel (Shot Blocks) at mile 8 like planned, and I felt it. With a short break to chew I got reenergized and tackled some rolling hills.
Then I got to mile 11.8 and wanted to cry. I suppose this is the race organizer’s fun little way to torture us all? It was awful. You saw it coming and dreaded it the whole way and climbed something like 8 stories in .15 of a mile. I walked up part of it and felt really out of breath at the end of it. I tried to pull it together but ended up having to walk up another short hill at 12.6… so close to the end!
I finally did manage to pull it together and rounded the corner towards the finish line. I was slightly ahead of pace so I wasn’t expecting friends to be there and I just gave it my last bit of energy. I cried and threw my arms up as I ran the last .05 miles to the finish. I have been dreaming about doing a half for 3 years and had finally completed it!
I felt momentarily like I couldn’t catch my breath but after chugging some water and getting my medal, things got better. I found Rahul, who is the most amazing person I could ever ask to be with, and he was so proud of me that it made me even prouder of what I had accomplished. We reunited with friends, had a mimosa, and then I stuffed my face with bacon and eggs and all was right with the world.
So there it is. My first 13.1 in 2:26:41. I couldn’t be happier. Well, maybe I would be happier if I wasn’t hobbling like an old lady right now.